Ultimate zip utility

I have used many utilities for archiving/compressing files during my career. I started off with pkzip during MS-DOS days and later moved to winzip on Windows.

Windows starting providing a shortcut for creating zip files starting from Windows XP. Although it works for most use cases there are times when you need a more popular utility. Winzip does a good job but it is not free. They do provide an evaluation version but why not use a free tool which can match feature-by-feature or even exceed in some cases.

My recent love is 7zip. It is a amazing utility for compression and is available for free download at http://www.7-zip.org/

Natively it uses its own format for compression with extension 7z. It is a superior compression algorithm but the only disadvantage is it is not easily portable – unless the destination computers/users also have 7zip installed. Files sizes are atleast 20% smaller in 7z format in most cases.

I prefer to use the standard zip format and 7zip does an awesome job with it as well. In addition, it supports the rar format (popular on unix and rapidshare.com), iso format and many others.

I would highly recommend it and if you do end up using it do post your comments.

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